The Banks family, a respectable Californian family, take in a relative - Will Smith, a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia. The idea is to make him respectable, responsible and mature, but Will has got other plans...
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 William 'Will' Smith / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Philip Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Carlton Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Hilary Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Ashley Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Geoffrey Butler / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks / ... (75 episodes, 1993-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks (74 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Nicky Banks / ... (50 episodes, 1994-1996)
...
 Jazz (47 episodes, 1990-1996)
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Storyline

When Will, an inner-city teenager from Philly is sent by his mother to live with his relatives (the Banks') in Bel-Air, everybody is in for a surprise. It is funny how influence can go both ways... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Prinz von Bel-Air  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(148 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The show was actually cancelled during its fourth season, with "The Philadelphia Story" serving as the finale. The overwhelming response, with viewers writing in by the truckload to NBC and Will Smith, convinced the network to go back on this decision, allowing it to run for what became two more seasons. See more »

Goofs

In the first episode ( "The Fresh Prince Project") Will is using a staple gun to put up a poster of Malcolm X. He repeatedly jumps towards the wall and punches the staple gun to secure the poster. Numerous times, when he hits the wall, you can see the wall shaking. See more »

Quotes

Carlton Banks: The police were doing their job. We were detained a couple hours, and dad came and got us out. The system worked.
Will: I hope you like that system, because you're gonna be seeing a lot more of it in your life.
Carlton Banks: Not if I bring a map.
Will: Man, you don't get it, do you? A map is not gonna help you. Neither is your Glee Club, or your fancy Bel-Air address, or who your daddy is. They don't care about any of that. They only see one thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers are often shown during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scream Queens: Beware of Young Girls (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Written by Will Smith and Jeffrey A. Townes
Performed by Will Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

My all-time favourite TV series
10 September 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Of all the shows, I believe that "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is the one with which I can most identify with, since I have surely seen every single episode at least a dozen times - and yet it STILL never gets tired! I cannot get sick of this show, and it's making me a bit disturbed! Just what is it that makes this show so continually appealing, even around seven years since its final episode? I'm not sure...it's certainly not just one element. Every part of this show is magic: the wonderful acting from all involved; the witty (and often painfully hysterical) one-liners and banter between characters; the hip, cool atmosphere; the music...it all perfectly fits into what has to be one of the most remarkable and well-made sitcoms of the '90s.

I find myself shocked sometimes at the number of people who have totally forgotten about this show. Granted, it DID end in 1996, and obviously a lot has happened since then (most notably the skyrocketing music & film career of a certain lead star), but I mean, come on! This show is an undisputed classic! Who can forget the wild, crazy, and just plain amusing adventures we've had with Will Smith and the Banks family?

There were times when I was just addicted to this show, I remember...it was a while back when the episodes were running in syndication every evening on TBS SuperStation...I can't believe how this show can always manage to crack me up. It's incredible. I've grown to love all these characters so much, and even now, I still wouldn't pass up an opportunity to watch yet another priceless rerun.

I agree, though, that yes, a lot of the late, LATE episodes (around the second-last and final season) had their fair share of groans, and showed some glaring signs of tedium, but thankfully, the overwhelming positive qualities of the series tower over such minor flaws - including the mysterious re-casting of Aunt Vivian's role from Janet Hubert-Whitten to Daphne Maxwell Reid; the increasingly old-hat shtick of using the same stock footage whenever Jazz gets thrown out of the Banks residence for the umpteenth time; the cursed addition of a new cast member - little Nicky Banks (Ross Bagley), etc....

It's not an entirely perfect show, certainly (but then - what show is?), and it has had its fair share of ups and downs in its moderately impressive run of six years. However, when all is said and done, in the end, this show can proudly stand on its own as a pop culture treasure. It has evolved from what seemed initially to be an awkward, cheesy, quaint little '80s/'90s Cosby rip-off to a mature, slick, and fabulously written/produced/directed program. Pure gold is what this show is.

A truly underrated, and always entertaining, gem. "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is one for the ages.


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